Advancing Australia's bioenergy sector

The Morrison Government has welcomed the release of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s (ARENA) Bioenergy Roadmap, which sets out opportunities that all levels of government, research institutions and industry can collaborate to grow Australia’s bioenergy sector.

At the request of Government, ARENA developed the Bioenergy Roadmap to identify the barriers and key opportunities to build Australia’s bioenergy sector that will not only reduce emissions but create jobs, particularly in regional communities.

The Bioenergy Roadmap outlines areas where bioenergy has a comparative advantage and complements other low emissions technologies, and opportunities for industry and governments to drive commercial growth together.

Advanced biofuels have been identified as one of the few low emissions alternatives to traditional jet or marine fuels that are available in the short to medium term.

To support the implementation of the Bioenergy Roadmap, the Government has also committed an additional $33.5 million to ARENA to further support Australia’s bioenergy sector through co-funding additional research, development and deployment of advanced sustainable aviation and marine biofuels.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said a strong bioenergy industry would help the industries that drive Australia’s economy grow into the future.

“Developing Australia’s bioenergy industry will support the development and deployment of advanced sustainable aviation and marine biofuels,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“This will help foster strong, world-leading aviation and marine industries that are competitive and viable in the long-run.”

Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said Australia has a unique opportunity to grow a sustainable bioenergy sector that delivers lower emissions, regional growth, and waste management benefits for Australia.

“I welcome the release of ARENA’s Bioenergy Roadmap today and it’s recognition of the emissions reduction and economic opportunities the sector provides, particularly to our regional communities,” Minister Taylor said.

“Like many technologies, working with industry to drive down production costs to price parity with traditional energy sources will be key to widespread uptake, with flow on benefits to fuel security and diverting more waste from landfill.

“It is important that the sector works together to implement the roadmap’s vision, while promoting consumer choice and focusing on technological improvements.

“The $33.5 million we have committed to back the Bioenergy Roadmap goes hand in hand with the extensive measures the Government is already implementing to grow this sector. These actions will not only support more innovative Australian R&D, but can help to reduce emissions in the transport, gas and electricity sectors too.” 

This additional investment will help these advanced biofuels to become more cost competitive with traditional jet and maritime fuels, in line with the Government’s technology, not taxes approach to reducing emissions.

The Government, through ARENA and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), has already invested just under half a billion dollars for Australian bioenergy projects in areas such as waste, biogas, biomass and biofuels.

Current Government measures underway to support the Australian bioenergy sector include:

  • The consideration of biogas, as well as hydrogen, in the National Gas Law review through Energy Ministers
  • The development of a new Emissions Reduction Fund method for biomethane by the Clean Energy Regulator
  • Biofuels being considered as part of the industry-wide fuel standards review
  • Bioenergy being utilised in Government-supported microgrid studies.

The biogas measures together aim to help the development of a voluntary zero emissions gas market, as discussed in the 2021 Low Emissions Technology Statement. This market will drive early demand for clean hydrogen and other zero emissions gases, and recognise consumers’ voluntary purchase of zero emission gas.

Bioenergy is sourced from materials available from varying sources, including forestry, agriculture or other waste streams available on a renewable basis. Bioenergy has a wide variety of applications and can be used for producing heat, electricity, gas and liquid fuels.

ARENA engaged ENEA Consulting and Deloitte Financial Advisory to assist in developing the Bioenergy Roadmap.

The Bioenergy Roadmap has been developed following extensive consultation and collaboration with industry, governments, researchers and the general public.

More information on Australia’s Bioenergy Roadmap is available at https://arena.gov.au/news/paving-the-way-for-australias-bioenergy-industry/

Deputy Prime Minister’s office:            Antony Perry, 0477 971 654

Minister Taylor’s office:                           Liam O’Neil, 0428 113 617